The Marlins announced tonight that they have acquired righty Nick Anderson from the Twins in exchange for infielder Brian Schales. To create roster space, the Marlins designated Derek Dietrich for assignment.
Bumping Dietrich from the roster will mean avoiding a significant salary for the rebuilding Marlins. MLBTR had projected a $4.8MM salary in his second-to-last season of arbitration eligibility. It’s still possible a trade will be worked out or that he’ll be claimed over the week to come.
The 29-year-old Dietrich has never comfortably found a defensive fit, though he has appeared at second, third, and the corner outfield and thereby offers at least hypothetical versatility. He’s valued mostly for his steady left-handed bat, which has produced solidly above-average numbers for each of the past four seasons. Most recently, he slashed .265/.330/.421 with 16 home runs in 551 plate appearances.
While he largely maintained his prior level of performance with the bat in 2018, it wasn’t Dietrich’s finest effort. His strikeout rate spiked to a career-high 25.4% while his walk rate dropped to 5.3%. That said, Dietrich was also exposed to left-handed pitching a bit more than he had been, with the resulting 34:1 K/BB mix in 106 plate appearances hardly helping the stat sheet.
Teams considering Dietrich will likely consider him as an option to plug in the lineup in various places against right-handed pitching. He could make particular sense for an American League club that intends to chop up some of its playing time at DH or even first base.
Anderson, 28, was due for Rule 5 protection and will get it from the Miami organization. He was slow to reach and progress through the professional ranks but has impressed upon reaching the upper minors. Last year, working at Triple-A, he turned in sixty frames of 3.30 ERA ball with 13.2 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9.
As for the 22-year-old Schales, he was a fourth-round pick in 2014 who topped out at the Double-A level last year. He turned in his best offensive season as a professional, slashing .258/.354/.403 with ten home runs in 490 plate appearances.